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It is time. It is time to free our voice. To speak is a revolution. For too long, through the most intimate acts of erasure, women have been silenced. Now, women everywhere are breaking through the limits placed on us by family, society, and tradition. To find our voices. To make space for ourselves in this world. Now is the moment to reclaim what was once lost, stolen, f It is time. It is time to free our voice. To speak is a revolution. For too long, through the most intimate acts of erasure, women have been silenced. Now, women everywhere are breaking through the limits placed on us by family, society, and tradition. To find our voices. To make space for ourselves in this world. Now is the moment to reclaim what was once lost, stolen, forsaken, or abandoned. I Am Yours is about my fight to protect and free my voice from those who have sought to silence me, for the sake of creating a world where all voices are welcome and respected. Because the voice, without intimacy, will atrophy. We’re in this together. You are mine, and I am yours.


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It is time. It is time to free our voice. To speak is a revolution. For too long, through the most intimate acts of erasure, women have been silenced. Now, women everywhere are breaking through the limits placed on us by family, society, and tradition. To find our voices. To make space for ourselves in this world. Now is the moment to reclaim what was once lost, stolen, f It is time. It is time to free our voice. To speak is a revolution. For too long, through the most intimate acts of erasure, women have been silenced. Now, women everywhere are breaking through the limits placed on us by family, society, and tradition. To find our voices. To make space for ourselves in this world. Now is the moment to reclaim what was once lost, stolen, forsaken, or abandoned. I Am Yours is about my fight to protect and free my voice from those who have sought to silence me, for the sake of creating a world where all voices are welcome and respected. Because the voice, without intimacy, will atrophy. We’re in this together. You are mine, and I am yours.

30 review for I Am Yours: A Shared Memoir

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tess

    I am a bit baffled by the description of this book versus the content. It is clearly a memoir, as it depicts the author's life from her literal birth up until the decision to write said book. It seems to be a lot of platitudes from someone who has a very privileged background. I feel for the author's trauma and struggles, but I do not understand how this is translated into the description of a women's revolution and freeing our voices. I was also taken aback by the fat-shaming, and discussions o I am a bit baffled by the description of this book versus the content. It is clearly a memoir, as it depicts the author's life from her literal birth up until the decision to write said book. It seems to be a lot of platitudes from someone who has a very privileged background. I feel for the author's trauma and struggles, but I do not understand how this is translated into the description of a women's revolution and freeing our voices. I was also taken aback by the fat-shaming, and discussions of eating disorders which seem very flippant and not addressed in a healthy manner. There is no mention in the book of seeking out medical or mental healthcare, which I found irresponsible. I worry that readers will not find many things to relate with in her life's story, as Zaman describes herself as a beautiful, popular, and intelligent person who people seem to fall in love with regularly. She continuously asks the reader to remember her as a chubby, lonely, and acne prone 15-year-old as to try to make us feel amazed by her now gorgeous looks, which lend to her model and acting careers. However, who has not felt this way at 15? Instead, few of us have the opportunities she has had in her life. Her descriptions of working with underprivileged children also left a bad taste in my mouth, and added nothing to her overall thesis; instead of coming off looking like a savior in her eyes (especially in the chapter about her working at a Thai orphanage). I appreciate the sentiment of wanting to be the voice for those who don't have one, but I was not convinced as to why Zaman is the one to have this honor. She says throughout she was searching for a certain book her entire life, coming to realize that said book is the one that she needs to write. Unfortunately, I think this book is also only meant for her as well. Thank you to NetGalley and Amberjack Publishing for an advance copy.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    I didn't know that this was a memoir when I requested it from Netgalley and I'm so glad that I didn't because I normally don't read that genre very often. It wouldn't have been my first choice and then I would have missed out on this absolute gem of a book. That said, addressing some of the negative reviews of the novel, this is a memoir of HER life. She doesn't have to be representative of anything other than herself, or explain why she made any of her decisions because it's HER life. That's li I didn't know that this was a memoir when I requested it from Netgalley and I'm so glad that I didn't because I normally don't read that genre very often. It wouldn't have been my first choice and then I would have missed out on this absolute gem of a book. That said, addressing some of the negative reviews of the novel, this is a memoir of HER life. She doesn't have to be representative of anything other than herself, or explain why she made any of her decisions because it's HER life. That's literally what a memoir is. I'll never understand picking someone apart for their beauty simply because they are beautiful. That doesn't make her any less deserving of compassion for the struggles that she's encountered in this life. Her DNA strand was put together in a particular way. How is she responsible for that? Pfst. Anyway. Back to the book. Her writing is absolutely gorgeous. It's lyrical, it's poetic, and it brings her story to life in a way that I've seen few authors accomplish. Her story in and of itself almost fell by the wayside sometimes because I got lost in the music of her writing. The subtle way she made changes in her life, to bring herself back to life and to heal from some of the traumas that she endured was more convincing to me than some of the so called *self help* books that I've read because I read them, and I don't identify with them. I don't see myself in them. I read about people that have come back from addiction, and they have these great life changing epiphanies, and I think, I struggled with alcohol for years, where was my epiphany? There wasn't one. Reema didn't struggle with alcohol but her healing was a subtle shift too, and I identified with that more than some of the addiction memoirs that I've read. There was one passage in particular that was stunningly beautiful: "Wounds tally. Addictions anesthetize the pain. We try to stitch while moving. But life's racing pace continually tears open old scars and mangles the new ones. Mending-while-enduring is well meant but ultimately futile, the sutures never tight enough to hold." That paragraph stopped me in my tracks. It reached out to me and tapped on my heart and brought me to tears. I fought for years with alcohol, trying to do as she said. Stitch while mending. And like her, it didn't work. The wounds always tore back open. And like her, there came a time when I had to stop. I had to take stock and over a period of time, had a subtle shift in my life where I was able to truly heal. I guess this book isn't for everyone. But if you're a lover of words, a lover of prose that leaps off the page like music, a woman finding her voice, this book is for you.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Vishy

    I discovered Reema Zaman's memoir, 'I Am Yours', recently and I was excited to read it. In the book, Reema Zaman tells the story of her life, by narrating it to her imaginary friend from childhood. She describes how her parents got married, how her mother was a talented, literary person before she got married while still a student, about her own birth, about how her father first moved to Hawaii and then to Thailand on work, taking his family with him, how Reema Zaman grew up there as a child and I discovered Reema Zaman's memoir, 'I Am Yours', recently and I was excited to read it. In the book, Reema Zaman tells the story of her life, by narrating it to her imaginary friend from childhood. She describes how her parents got married, how her mother was a talented, literary person before she got married while still a student, about her own birth, about how her father first moved to Hawaii and then to Thailand on work, taking his family with him, how Reema Zaman grew up there as a child and then as a pre-teen and then as a teen, how she moved to America for college, how she tried becoming an actress and an artist, how she fell in love and got married and what happened after that and how she ended up writing this book. During the course of this journey Zaman also describes her relationship with her parents and her siblings, the relationship between her parents, how she was bullied in school and how the people who bullied her found her attractive and tried to get close to her when she became a teenager, how her teachers inspired her, how one of her best friends assaulted her, how hard it was to be an aspiring actress when work was hard to come by, how children showed her the power of love. I found many things fascinating in the book. For example, the description of her Bangladeshi family was quite interesting - how her mother made all the sacrifices but was mostly treated badly by her father, and how when she complained sometimes, he told her that she can leave the house if didn't like it there. This is the typical, cruel line that patriarchal husbands, especially of the South Asian kind, tell their wives, to hurt them, and to make them realize on which side the power lay in the household. I have heard this line spoken so many times and it was interesting to see it described in this book too. Zaman's mother threatens to leave her husband many times, but is not able to, because of the stigma attached to it. But at some point when she does it - the unthinkable, in Bangladeshi culture - we cheer for her. And when she flowers as a human being after she frees herself from the clutches of the patriarchy and finds happiness and joy and love, we all delight in it. There is, of course, a popular opinion, that if one moves out of South Asia (or a similar kind of region) and migrates to the West, life is hunky-dory and all dreams come true. Zaman contrasts this popular opinion with her own life. She falls in love and gets married to an American and after the initial honeymoon is over, we discover that her new husband inflicts pain on her in different ways, different from the way her father inflicts on her mother, but it is pain nevertheless. It just shows that patriarchy is alive everywhere, and if there is a kind of inequality among two partners and the power is on the man's side, he might use that situation and inflict pain on his wife. There is a scene towards the ending of a movie called 'Snake Eyes'. A young woman and a cop expose corruption in a deal between an arms manufacturer and the Navy. The young woman then tells the cop that everything is going to change for the better. To which, our cop, who is a wise man, replies - "You know, they say back years ago... pirates put phoney lighthouses right out by those big rocks, right out there. Ships would set a course by the lights, crash on the rocks, then everybody'd go out and rob 'em blind. Only one thing's changed since then – Iights are brighter." I remembered this when I read the book. Marriages sometimes seem to be similar to this. It doesn't matter which country one belongs to, where one lives in, the lights might be brighter, but the marriage is the same. It is the same age-old thing with the patriarchy inflicting pain and undermining a woman who is married. I don't know why some married people continue to inflict pain on each other when a better option is available. What can be gained by inflicting pain? Atleast the pirates are getting some loot. What is the purpose of inflicting pain, especially the kind husbands inflict on wives? What can be gained from this? It never ceases to amaze me and puzzle me and anger me. Reema Zaman's book offers a very perceptive commentary on the state of the marriage by exploring marriages of different kinds. To balance things out, she also depicts a happy marriage, when her mother falls in love and marries again and her new husband is gentle and kind and loving, and how Zaman and her siblings fall in love with him - it is so beautiful to read. When Reema Zaman tells her new stepdad during Christmas - "For my present, may I call you ‘Dad’?” - her new dad cries and so do we. Another thing I loved about the book is the narrator's voice - how it is a child's voice initially, and how it gets transformed into a pre-teen's voice, a teenager's voice and then a young woman's voice. It is beautiful to see this transformation across the book. Two of my favourite passages are narrated by the child, Reema Zaman, and they go like this : "I am 3. I know some things, but I don’t know many. I know crayons don’t taste like their names. A name is a word, and a word is different from a promise. I know I don’t like loud. At home it is happy and quiet and then loud. Loud makes my head hurt. It is happy, quiet, loud, and then quiet again. Sometimes it is so quiet, it is loud. That hurts too." "Momma is crying again. She is trying to hide, but I am too good at seeing. I am small so I can see from everywhere. There are many places to hug her because I always fit. There are many ways to love Momma. Hugs, drawings, staying asleep until 7 a.m. and going to bed at 7 p.m. There are many ways to love me because I still need help with things like tying shoelaces and making the slanted leg on the letter R. Momma takes care of all that to let me know she sees me. I ask Momma who God is. She says, “The one who made all things and takes care of all of us.” This makes me laugh. I don’t know why Momma has two names. God and her real name, Momma. How silly." Reema Zaman's prose is beautiful, soft, gentle, lyrical. Though the book deals with some heavy themes, the prose and tone are gentle and serene, and they soften the blow, and they calm the heart. Towards the end of the book, Zaman depicts the power of love through the eyes of children, and it is so beautiful to read. There is one passage, which made me smile. It goes like this : "Although they’re exhausting, I love my toddlers. They care not a whit about my intelligence, attractiveness, talent, possibilities, or lack thereof. They desire only that I be present. That I give them authentic hugs and closeness, eye contact, and affection. Walking home one night, I realize why I’m so happy and fulfilled these days: giving is synonymous with my truth. With the children, with this book, I’m living as my complete self. Cheryl Strayed writes that her mother would say, to heal, grow, and nurture joy, “Put yourself in the way of beauty.” I like to think that includes service—another manifestation of beauty." I loved 'I Am Yours'. It is a beautiful book about life, love, family, growing up, pursuing one's dreams, heartbreak, healing and everything else in-between which is a part of life. It explores some important, intense themes, but it does that in a beautiful, gentle language, which is a pleasure to read. It shows the importance of speaking in one's voice and depicts the power of love. I will leave you with some of my favourite passages from the book. "The idiom everything happens for a reason has never sat well with me. One cannot blurt “everything happens for a reason” to a person who has just lost a loved one, been raped, or been diagnosed with cancer. “Everything happens for a reason” sounds passive, as though all the power in one’s narrative has been surrendered into the hands of others, or, to life’s harsh whims and winds, to decide one’s path, destiny, identity, and sense of self. The truth I prefer is only I assign my experiences their reasons." "The foremost and simplest reason we chose the heart as our symbol for love is that our mother’s heartbeat is our original song. Our first inkling that someone is here, with me, and I belong to her. Our mother is our first person in the dark. Perhaps it is off that sublime sensation and memory that we then search for a similar bond, with a future, special person. To be separate yet together, entwined while individual, hearts slipping into sync." "I have learned all individuals are beautiful on their own but certain combinations can be catastrophic. Like books and water. Both are vital and life-renewing, but together, they promise tragedy." "We tend to think deaths and events are all that require grieving, but selves, choices, habits, and relationships we’ve known, they need loving rituals of healing as well. The speed at which life demands we run, simply to make it to the next day, makes it difficult to see them through. Wounds tally. Addictions anesthetize the pain. We try to stitch while moving. But life’s racing pace continually tears open old scars and mangles the new ones. Mending-while-enduring is well meant but ultimately futile, the sutures never tight enough to hold." "Oregon boasts all kinds of rain. There is drizzle, so light it sounds like gentle static. It settles on your skin like the shyest kiss. There is lush rain made of fat droplets, so rotund you see them clearly. There is hail in the winter, chilling and aloof, paying me no regard as I run, delivering winds that lift me off the ground. Finally there are summer storms brought by clouds that pass and return swiftly, growing loud then soft with lusty arrogance, making the earth and me swoon, loving every second. The rain is right: if you are to do something, do it well and do it boldly." "Language births art, literature, dance, theater, and bedtime stories. Language, science has proven, shapes the way we formulate thoughts. Language sculpts the fables we mine for morals, the idioms that guide us, the jokes we tell to lift the rains. The speeches and anthems that teach us values, inspire our courage, and charge our souls. The lullabies we sing to our children to soothe their fears and make them kind. The poetry we weave around a lover. Words shape thoughts, thoughts breed action, actions create identity, identity directs legacy. We are our words." Have you read Reema Zaman's 'I Am Yours'? What do you think about it?

  4. 5 out of 5

    Erin Khar

    I was so fortunate to be sent an advanced copy of this phenomenal book. Reema Zaman spins literary magic out of love, emotional abuse, and life affirming moments. Her voice is so compelling. The prose is beautiful. This book is all about finding love in and around yourself. I highly recommend.

  5. 5 out of 5

    SheLovesThePages

    I thought this was a really wonderful story. Zaman shares her story with us. It has that smash the patriarchy feel. What women do to conform to societal norms. I found her writing beautiful. And i recommend this book!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Renee // Feminist Book Club Box and Podcast

    I Am Yours is a wild ride from page 1. Zaman's experience growing up as an average-looking Bengali girl where she stood out no matter what in Oahu and Bangkok gave her the strength and tenacity to endure the chaos of becoming a working actor and model in New York while juggling difficult romantic relationships, anorexia, and a desire to make an impact on this wold. This book is that impact. It's clear the author draws inspiration from writers like Elizabeth Gilbert and Glennon Doyle and her memo I Am Yours is a wild ride from page 1. Zaman's experience growing up as an average-looking Bengali girl where she stood out no matter what in Oahu and Bangkok gave her the strength and tenacity to endure the chaos of becoming a working actor and model in New York while juggling difficult romantic relationships, anorexia, and a desire to make an impact on this wold. This book is that impact. It's clear the author draws inspiration from writers like Elizabeth Gilbert and Glennon Doyle and her memoir could easily stand amongst those ranks. Absolutely recommend. Thank you to NetGalley and Amberjack Publishing for a reader's copy.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ronita Banerjee

    "I am here. I love you. I am yours." Name- I am Yours Written by- Reema Zaman Published by- Amberjack Publishing Pages- 317 Review- Who does we truly belong to in this world? There might be several answers to this question but the right one would be- "ourselves".. "I am yours" is a beautiful memoir written by Reema Zaman. Memoirs are personal, memoirs truly belong to the author. Reema Zaman's life might not be special or out of ordinary but it is much more. A tale of a journey. A journey towards self-di "I am here. I love you. I am yours." Name- I am Yours Written by- Reema Zaman Published by- Amberjack Publishing Pages- 317 Review- Who does we truly belong to in this world? There might be several answers to this question but the right one would be- "ourselves".. "I am yours" is a beautiful memoir written by Reema Zaman. Memoirs are personal, memoirs truly belong to the author. Reema Zaman's life might not be special or out of ordinary but it is much more. A tale of a journey. A journey towards self-discovery and self love. Born in a Bangladeshi Muslim family Reema pens down her life's journey first as a daughter, then as a lover, a wife and ultimately as an individual with an identity. An identity is something we all crave. A desire to love and be loved in the most unselfish manner. Reema wished the same. Does she get it in the end? If so in what way? The questions can be truly answered by reading the book and learning from her life. Reema's life was surrounded by the people whom she loved. Her mother, her father, her brother, her sister and her step Dad. None of whom she mentions by name. Even her first husband is named Peter Pan, which was quite funny if not hilarious and one of her lovers as Prince. Though she didn't name any yet the characters were detailed and perfectly described. Reema got attracted to love like a moth to flame and in this attempt she became someone she never wanted to be- ever compromising like her mother. But sometimes we don't realize that there are all kinds of love in this world and we get what we are meant to. A poignant memoir which is definitely recommended to all.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Dana Mich

    The #MeToo movement has created a vital outlet for women to break the silence, and understandably, the focus has centered on women’s anger. But what women need, now more than ever, is a courageous first-person narrative that celebrates the one true agent of empowerment: self-love. Reema Zaman’s memoir, I Am Yours, (which I was lucky enough to read in advance) is the manifestation of this message. Readers follow Zaman's journey beginning with her upbringing in a patriarchal society and household, The #MeToo movement has created a vital outlet for women to break the silence, and understandably, the focus has centered on women’s anger. But what women need, now more than ever, is a courageous first-person narrative that celebrates the one true agent of empowerment: self-love. Reema Zaman’s memoir, I Am Yours, (which I was lucky enough to read in advance) is the manifestation of this message. Readers follow Zaman's journey beginning with her upbringing in a patriarchal society and household, through to her rape and emotional abuse in her twenties, and finally ending with her stunning revival. Reema's writing is a testament to the power of using our voices to free ourselves from our past and to heal our deepest wounds.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    I wish I could buy limitless copies of this book and give it to everyone I know, then just to people that need to know they are loved, have a voice and matter! Reema Zaman is pure love and she has gone through some tough s!&t. To arrive on the other side sure of herself and purpose is so inspiring. Get it, read it, share it!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Stevens

    Memoirs are so hard to review. Their authors expose themselves on the page and my impulse is to clap and cheer and wish them well. So let me start by clapping, cheering, and wishing Ms. Zaman well! But a brave and eventful life does not guarantee a good book, and what I am evaluating here is the book, not the life. This book is addressed throughout to "my love." We learn that this is both the voice in Ms. Zaman's head, and her since-childhood imaginary friend. I found this jarring. And much of th Memoirs are so hard to review. Their authors expose themselves on the page and my impulse is to clap and cheer and wish them well. So let me start by clapping, cheering, and wishing Ms. Zaman well! But a brave and eventful life does not guarantee a good book, and what I am evaluating here is the book, not the life. This book is addressed throughout to "my love." We learn that this is both the voice in Ms. Zaman's head, and her since-childhood imaginary friend. I found this jarring. And much of the language throughout is inflected with Bangladeshi idiom in a way that must be an editorial choice, but that I found unnecessary and distracting. For example, "a toddler hasn't concept of patience." In taking a look at other works of this author on the web, there's no hint of this affectation. The author also seems a bit too close in time to the events she recounts to do them justice. For example, a theme running through this work is her use of her appearance and sexuality to get her jobs and attention. She seems both repelled and committed to her stiletto heels, cocktail dresses, and even her anorexia. I suspect that I am not the intended audience for this book, and that it may be more appreciated by other readers. With thanks to NetGalley and AmberJack Publishing for an ARC in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Abby Maslin

    I couldn't catch my breath my entire way through this stunning memoir. Zaman's prose is both poetic and distinctive; I'm not sure I can think of another author whose nonfiction writing is quite so lyrical. I fell in love with Reema over the course of this book and found myself nodding, "Me too," at so many of the poignant and painful moments of womanhood she describes here. Of course, this is what the author intended all along. This is a memoir about her life, but it is indeed the journey of eve I couldn't catch my breath my entire way through this stunning memoir. Zaman's prose is both poetic and distinctive; I'm not sure I can think of another author whose nonfiction writing is quite so lyrical. I fell in love with Reema over the course of this book and found myself nodding, "Me too," at so many of the poignant and painful moments of womanhood she describes here. Of course, this is what the author intended all along. This is a memoir about her life, but it is indeed the journey of every woman. I AM YOURS is a book I'll be rereading and marking up often. Readers will find themselves awed by the beauty of each page.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Amy Bond

    The poetry of Reema Zaman’s beautiful book “I Am Yours” is so flawless and so musical that when I read it, it feels like she’s whisper singing the words of it into my ear, like a secret she is sharing with only me. It is so vulnerable and trusting that reading “I Am Yours” is akin to looking into a puddle after rain and seeing my own reflection in a clearer light. Even though her experiences are hers, she tells them with such bold understanding that her stories feel universally mine too.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Brooks

    A Fearless and Gorgeously Rendered Memoir Reema Zaman's inspiring journey to free her voice from the cultural binds that kept her silent is an enthralling and cinematic read. Her unflinching honesty and the poetic beauty of her words are the pearls residing in the pages of this book. Zaman meticulously unpacks the complexity of her own experiences with sexual violence, intimate partner abuse, and anorexia with the clear purpose of offering hope, healing, and companionship to anyone who might find A Fearless and Gorgeously Rendered Memoir Reema Zaman's inspiring journey to free her voice from the cultural binds that kept her silent is an enthralling and cinematic read. Her unflinching honesty and the poetic beauty of her words are the pearls residing in the pages of this book. Zaman meticulously unpacks the complexity of her own experiences with sexual violence, intimate partner abuse, and anorexia with the clear purpose of offering hope, healing, and companionship to anyone who might find themselves in similar circumstances. I am awed by her compassion to herself and to others, and I celebrate the power of her voice to open space for all of our voices to be heard.

  14. 5 out of 5

    joni edelman

    Five stars for this debut. I was lucky enough to be given an advanced reader of this and I devoured it. There is discussion of eating disorder which I’d like to bring attention to but also note that each persons struggle is their own. It hasn’t been called a body positive memoir so I’d take that awareness into the reading. What is special is how Reema tells her story. A good writer can make anything interesting. Reema’s voice is unique and beautiful and a gift to the world of memoir. It’s a 2019 Five stars for this debut. I was lucky enough to be given an advanced reader of this and I devoured it. There is discussion of eating disorder which I’d like to bring attention to but also note that each persons struggle is their own. It hasn’t been called a body positive memoir so I’d take that awareness into the reading. What is special is how Reema tells her story. A good writer can make anything interesting. Reema’s voice is unique and beautiful and a gift to the world of memoir. It’s a 2019 must read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    I admit, I struggled with the writing style of this book. The author writes to her imaginary friend/ other self. She reminisces, tells her story sometimes talking to this other self. Throughout the book I wondered, is this an imaginary friend she hasnt6grown out of, does she have another personality i.e. a dissociative personality disorder, or schizophrenia? It distracts from the narrative. She also writes in metaphors. I love a good metaphor but sentence after sentence of them just overwhelms t I admit, I struggled with the writing style of this book. The author writes to her imaginary friend/ other self. She reminisces, tells her story sometimes talking to this other self. Throughout the book I wondered, is this an imaginary friend she hasnt6grown out of, does she have another personality i.e. a dissociative personality disorder, or schizophrenia? It distracts from the narrative. She also writes in metaphors. I love a good metaphor but sentence after sentence of them just overwhelms this reader. That said, the subject of the memoir is compelling. It's a story of a girl whose voice is ignored and diminished because she is a girl. How much of that reflects her culture and how much the family dynamics is unclear although probably bits of both. She is an intelligent girl who is told that boys don't like smart girls. She experiences predatory sexual behavior and told boys will be boys. Like many girls, particularly first born, she uses her voice to take care of and nurture those she loves. She finds control in anorexia and in her beauty. This her story of taking her voice back and using it help others. Her acts of generosity and loving compassion are heartfelt and moving. I just wish it were told in a way that didn't distance the reader. Overall this is a 3.5 star read rounded up to 4 stars. Thanks to Netaglley and the publisher for letting me review this book. It in no way influenced my review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Dora Okeyo

    The beauty of memoirs is that they give you an insight into an author’s experiences, struggles and life changing moments. Reema’s childhood is one where she sees what conforming does to the voice of her loved ones. "I search myself for hunger only to realize I haven’t the kind that can be sated with a meal. Still, I should join them." She also struggles with control and the strong desire to be heard, respected and most of all- to have her word taken as first of all her truth and also law like she’ The beauty of memoirs is that they give you an insight into an author’s experiences, struggles and life changing moments. Reema’s childhood is one where she sees what conforming does to the voice of her loved ones. "I search myself for hunger only to realize I haven’t the kind that can be sated with a meal. Still, I should join them." She also struggles with control and the strong desire to be heard, respected and most of all- to have her word taken as first of all her truth and also law like she’s seeing in the lives of the women she encounters. “It’s just how it is. The sentiment I hate the most after that’s not allowed.” I love the prose of this book. It’s divided in different sections that Reema calls ACTS and each brings to light different stages of her coming to terms with who she is, what she wants and most of all, why and how she wants it. Anyone who has ever been silenced or yearned to be heard would answer this book’s call, perhaps the greatest question and sorrow is that even after all these years/ movements/ milestones and policies women are still fighting to be heard. Thank you Netgalley for the eARC and since we live in a world of ratings my verdict would be 4-stars!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lara Lillibridge

    I Am Yours is unlike any memoir I’ve read. It’s written as a love letter to her inner voice, an outpouring of love and acceptance. Reema Zaman has taken back her voice from those who wished to silence it, writing for all of us whom have ever felt invisible. This book is intrinsically female, and that is its overwhelming beauty and its strength. Zaman takes the reader from her childhood through an path littered with men who sought to own her, diminish her, and wound her, and then brings us out in I Am Yours is unlike any memoir I’ve read. It’s written as a love letter to her inner voice, an outpouring of love and acceptance. Reema Zaman has taken back her voice from those who wished to silence it, writing for all of us whom have ever felt invisible. This book is intrinsically female, and that is its overwhelming beauty and its strength. Zaman takes the reader from her childhood through an path littered with men who sought to own her, diminish her, and wound her, and then brings us out into the light of reclaiming herself, her voice, and her power. Laced through it all is the reflective, wiser narrator, putting the events of her life in context of the greater feminine experience. In this way, Zaman makes the personal universal.

  18. 5 out of 5

    kglibrarian (Karin Greenberg)

    Reema Zaman's writing is like a soothing balm-- her words take on an ethereal quality even when she's writing about the troubling issues on which she focuses throughout her narrative. The book is written as a love letter to love itself, or the imaginary, higher self she clings to for comfort. She catalogues her life from an early age up until the present. Born in Bangkok, her diplomat father moves them first to Hawaii, and then to Thailand, where she spends the majority of her formative years. At Reema Zaman's writing is like a soothing balm-- her words take on an ethereal quality even when she's writing about the troubling issues on which she focuses throughout her narrative. The book is written as a love letter to love itself, or the imaginary, higher self she clings to for comfort. She catalogues her life from an early age up until the present. Born in Bangkok, her diplomat father moves them first to Hawaii, and then to Thailand, where she spends the majority of her formative years. Attending school with children of other families working for the UN, Reema continually feels like the outsider, the girl with different color skin who never quite fits in. She describes herself as an ugly, chubby 15-year-old who does not connect to the majority of her peers. Her home life does not help--though she enjoys a loving relationship with her mother, she fears her father, who is, at times, verbally abusive to both her and her mother. Her two siblings, who are years younger than her, seem to escape his wrath, and Reema nurtures them with protective care. It is not until Reema discovers she can control her life by restricting her diet that she begins to feel some sense of control. As her anorexia develops, so, too, does her feeling of belonging and acceptance. The connection between her mental illness and emerging confidence is a disturbing twist in the way her teenage years pan out. When Reema finally escapes the confines of her upbringing and moves to America to attend college, her insecurities and confusion follow her. Though she is a motivated, hard-working woman who is determined to succeed academically and professionally, she makes questionable choices that put her on a course of heartbreak. Most notable are her relationships with men, who, once she moves to New York City, seem to flock to her and her physical beauty. Her kindness and good heart are on display in each of her intimate attachments, and it is frustrating to watch her humiliate herself in the shadow of arrogant, condescending men. But as she evolves, she becomes more aware and proactive, leading to a huge change in her circumstances. Though Zaman did not need to frame this lovely memoir as an address to a second party, and this device actually felt slightly contrived at parts, she pulls it off because of the strength of her emotions and subtlety of her lessons. The calming effect of her writing voice relaxed me and I was sorry to turn the last page.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Soumya John

    I Am Yours is the love story of a woman and her voice, something that's frightening to so many. Through frames of growing up in a broken home, birthing mental health illnesses, and facing men who abuse their power, Reema Zaman's resolve to rise and unite with her truth remains constant. With her poetic and sharp prose, she makes you viscerally feel each moment she arrests you in. From her orthodox household in Bangladesh to the elite and murky sides of Thailand; from cutthroat, glamorous New York I Am Yours is the love story of a woman and her voice, something that's frightening to so many. Through frames of growing up in a broken home, birthing mental health illnesses, and facing men who abuse their power, Reema Zaman's resolve to rise and unite with her truth remains constant. With her poetic and sharp prose, she makes you viscerally feel each moment she arrests you in. From her orthodox household in Bangladesh to the elite and murky sides of Thailand; from cutthroat, glamorous New York to breathtaking Oregon – Zaman's signature strong and tender voice rings loudly through each scene and sentence in the book. I Am Yours belongs to a genre of its own – 'shared memoir'. I wasn't sure what that meant at first. Upon reading it, I realized that this book is as much a dedication to her readers as it is to her truth. It's a call for them to seek, hold, and love their own truth. To roar in a way only they can, unfettered by the forces in this world that's set on silencing them. In 300 odd pages, she packs a lifetime's worth of wounds and the antidote to heal them. Reading this book feels like coming home to yourself, to the parts you've always loved and those you are learning to love. The world needs this book the way we need faith, kindness, and love – delivered urgently in one large, lifesaving breath.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Ellison

    Constructed as a love letter to her highest self, Zaman’s memoir chronicles her journey from young Bangladeshi girl trying to accommodate a world of loud silences filled with male rage and female grief to a force of nature who authors her own truth. As a teen and young adult, Zaman strives for perfection in beauty, creativity, and love, hoping her hard work will allow her to give voice to the voiceless. The barriers she faces along the way—loneliness, an eating disorder, sexual violence, and emo Constructed as a love letter to her highest self, Zaman’s memoir chronicles her journey from young Bangladeshi girl trying to accommodate a world of loud silences filled with male rage and female grief to a force of nature who authors her own truth. As a teen and young adult, Zaman strives for perfection in beauty, creativity, and love, hoping her hard work will allow her to give voice to the voiceless. The barriers she faces along the way—loneliness, an eating disorder, sexual violence, and emotionally abusive relationships—are common to so many women. As she attempts to cope with expectations established by the patriarchy, we see how easy it is to cut off parts of the self to placate those in power. While this book aligns with movements like #MeToo and #TimesUp, her memoir is no simple a trauma narrative. Zaman’s explicit use of the writing process to re-author her story coupled with her iconic lyric style are what make her story so unique. Every word of Zaman’s memoir is grounded in a profound love and compassion that allows readers to engage with her pain without being accosted by it. We see not a victim, but a fierce warrior woman in charge of her narrative. Her book serves both as a prayer for healing and a guidebook leading us to our higher selves. I devoured every word of her memoir and can't wait to read it again. Whether you are looking for your voice, waiting to be inspired, or just like a well-crafted story, I Am Yours has been written for you.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This beautiful book has shaken me. Reema Zaman writes in a clear, poetic way that is haunting yet touching and real. But in spite of the captivating writing style, I think the book affected me so much because I too have experienced emotional abuse. It's a hidden trauma, but this book has opened doors for acknowledgment of the truth and healing. I would caution readers that the content can be challenging and triggering to read. But we do have a voice, and "I Am Yours" is a gentle and firm reminde This beautiful book has shaken me. Reema Zaman writes in a clear, poetic way that is haunting yet touching and real. But in spite of the captivating writing style, I think the book affected me so much because I too have experienced emotional abuse. It's a hidden trauma, but this book has opened doors for acknowledgment of the truth and healing. I would caution readers that the content can be challenging and triggering to read. But we do have a voice, and "I Am Yours" is a gentle and firm reminder of this fact as it empowers us to stay true to ourselves, value who we are and stand tall despite outside influences and voices. Thank you, Reema Zaman, for sharing your heart!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    I Am Yours is a sketch of the ways Zaman fought against her patriarchal thinking and her cultural need to silence her voice. Besides her powerful story, what I liked most about this book was the un-memoir way she wrote this book-she didn't start at birth and does not end t the present. Zaman is not writing for potential readers but for family members she hasn’t yet met. She is writing for all of us. I Am Yours is a sketch of the ways Zaman fought against her patriarchal thinking and her cultural need to silence her voice. Besides her powerful story, what I liked most about this book was the un-memoir way she wrote this book-she didn't start at birth and does not end t the present. Zaman is not writing for potential readers but for family members she hasn’t yet met. She is writing for all of us.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Monica

    there's a lot of heart in this memoir. emotionally stirring (in a good way) for someone (like me) who needed a lil reality check or healing type of book. there's a lot of heart in this memoir. emotionally stirring (in a good way) for someone (like me) who needed a lil reality check or healing type of book.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Susan Valentine

    It’s difficult to rate a memoir, especially one that is so sincere and heartfelt and tries to be so optimistic about life and love. I found it engaging and liked that she was addressing these words to her younger self or imaginary friend. I really appreciated her path to reclaiming herself and being a love story with herself ultimately. I wonder how the writer will view these events and her life in another ten or twenty years with even more distance, perspective and wisdom of experience.

  25. 5 out of 5

    IquoImoh Terry

    What an sincere, courageous story. A must read for women who will not backdown to patriarchy. The author speaks with such passion and it’s as if she is setting in your living room pouring her life out to you. Couldn’t put this book down.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    Reema Zaman, born in Bangladesh, raised in Hawaii and Bankok, spent her life seeking the book that expressed what she needed to say. Finally, she had to write it. We follow her story from a childhood of “loud silence” with an abusive father and anorexia to New York, where she works as a model and actress while supporting herself with babysitting. During those years, she is raped, treated like nothing but a pretty face, and continually falls into unhealthy relationships with bullying men. We watc Reema Zaman, born in Bangladesh, raised in Hawaii and Bankok, spent her life seeking the book that expressed what she needed to say. Finally, she had to write it. We follow her story from a childhood of “loud silence” with an abusive father and anorexia to New York, where she works as a model and actress while supporting herself with babysitting. During those years, she is raped, treated like nothing but a pretty face, and continually falls into unhealthy relationships with bullying men. We watch as she fights her way out of her dark cloud to find her own path and her true self, the woman who is not playing a role. This beautifully written memoir, told to an imaginary friend, offers a lesson of hope and strength to all women.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rachel (Life of a Female Bibliophile)

    Read even more reviews: www.lifeofafemalebibliophile.com I Am Yours is a raw and emotional memoir where the author shares stories from personal experiences in her life. The book starts with stories from her youth until the present. Through her personal experiences, she describes vivid events that shaped her into the women she is today. Zaman has a very lyrical quality in her writing style that makes the reading pace very smooth. Each section is set up at a different stage in the author’s life and Read even more reviews: www.lifeofafemalebibliophile.com I Am Yours is a raw and emotional memoir where the author shares stories from personal experiences in her life. The book starts with stories from her youth until the present. Through her personal experiences, she describes vivid events that shaped her into the women she is today. Zaman has a very lyrical quality in her writing style that makes the reading pace very smooth. Each section is set up at a different stage in the author’s life and we get to see how not only how she transitions in age, but also the obstacles that shape her. Even from childhood Zaman is very outspoken and passionate about her beliefs and what she wants to do in life. I admired her ambition and drive when it came to her acting career, working in childcare, and finding her passion for what path she wanted to follow in life. Her writing is so detailed that you feel as if you are reading her personal diary. She talks about her struggle with anorexia, overcoming the abuse from her ex-husband, surviving sexual assault and then her healing process to find herself once again (Trigger warning!). She does get to a point where she loses sight of what she wants in lifeand works on finding the drive to move forward once again. So many times people tried to silence Zaman’s voice, but she always make sure she spoke up, even when her opinions weren’t wanted. She is fiere and strong, while also showing her vulnerability in her memoir. I enjoyed reading about Reema’s journey and it shows that even though life throws us many obstacles, we can overcome them. It may be very difficult, but we have to try.. This memoir had me engrossed from beginning to end and I highly recommend it! FTC Disclaimer: I received this book from Amberjack Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Menna

    More like a 3.5 rating. The Dear Sugars podcast episode on emotional abuse that featured Reema Zaman was one of the most compelling things I heard in 2018. I pre-ordered her memoir as soon as I had Wi-Fi access again. I definitely felt seen by this book, especially the parts that describe her parents' relationship and her upbringing. It was as empowering as I expected, but there were a few aspects of the reading experience that ticked me off. I didn't appreciate her repetition of needing to be a More like a 3.5 rating. The Dear Sugars podcast episode on emotional abuse that featured Reema Zaman was one of the most compelling things I heard in 2018. I pre-ordered her memoir as soon as I had Wi-Fi access again. I definitely felt seen by this book, especially the parts that describe her parents' relationship and her upbringing. It was as empowering as I expected, but there were a few aspects of the reading experience that ticked me off. I didn't appreciate her repetition of needing to be a voice for the voiceless and the silenced. I found the dialogue in the passages involving her romantic partners to be nauseatingly corny, but that's just a matter of personal preference. There were also moments where she described her ideas as feminist when they were ideas that struck me as empowering to her, but not necessarily empowering to women in general. Those aside, I deeply appreciated her writing about a childhood where she felt ugly and dismissed, and about the work that goes into healing parent-child relationships. She had some powerful insights into toxic masculinity and self-love.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jeremy Reppy

    "I Am Yours" is a well-written and interesting memoir. Reema Zaman has had a diverse range of experiences. As a Bangladeshi woman raised in a Muslim culture, and who spent many years as a child in Bangkok, Thailand, as well as other parts of the world, she has an upbringing and experiences that many Americans cannot relate to it, especially a white male Christian such as myself. Readers who are minorities, women, or immigrants will likely see many similarities between themselves and the author i "I Am Yours" is a well-written and interesting memoir. Reema Zaman has had a diverse range of experiences. As a Bangladeshi woman raised in a Muslim culture, and who spent many years as a child in Bangkok, Thailand, as well as other parts of the world, she has an upbringing and experiences that many Americans cannot relate to it, especially a white male Christian such as myself. Readers who are minorities, women, or immigrants will likely see many similarities between themselves and the author in terms of common experiences for members of each group. However, the author's story includes elements that all of us can relate to, such as navigating family relationships, navigating romantic relationships, dealing with disappointment and loss, and trying to find one's place in the world, among other things. The memoir is also tough to read at times because Ms. Zaman has experienced sexual harassment and multiple episodes of sexual assault and she has experienced significant emotional neglect and abuse. Her description of her childhood and relationship with her father displays a man who loves his daughter, but who has trouble expressing that love. Reading about her marriage will likely make the reader frustrated and upset. Her husband seems to complement her well at first, although there are warning signs, but it does not take long before he is revealed as immature, insecure, and very emotionally abusive. Chronicling his behavior would provide enough material for a master class on emotional abuse. I wanted to wrap her up and tell her that she was worthy and wonderful and deserved so much better than what she was receiving. [Of course, when a person is in that situation, they finds ways to rationalize the behavior or believe they can help the abuser change, or other false hopes, which makes it so hard to escape an abusive relationship]. I wanted to grab her husband and knock some sense into him; although that would not be an appropriate or effective response. Thankfully, her inner voice eventually becomes loud enough and she realizes, "I am enough as I am. I don't want to merely endure anymore." The way the marriage ends is both wonderful and infuriating at the same time. What is particularly remarkable and inspiring is that Ms. Zaman is not looking for pity or sympathy or revenge in recounting the trauma she has experienced, but recognizes that for her, everything she experienced has served a purpose ("I've had to live exactly as I have. Every wound, character, experience, and skill has been used, to fill into my purpose.") Which is not to say that the abuse she experienced was "appropriate", "justified", "should have happened" or anything like that; rather, Ms. Zaman has found a way not to let herself drown in the horrible things she has experienced, but instead has gathered lessons and insight from those experiences into who she is and how she can use her voice to speak out on behalf of herself and others. In the end, Ms. Zaman has figured out how to live as her authentic self, a daunting endeavor. There are many great statements in the book, but one of my favorites is: "All I have ever wanted, my love, is for every person to speak their truth, but not at the expense of speaking over another, or at the risk of being spoken over." The best part of the memoir is the year she spends living with her mother, stepfather, and at times, younger sister, while writing this book. They are concerned about her need to write the book she plans to write, but they are also loving and supportive. Her mother and stepfather, who she calls "Dad", display the love, care, affection, respect, etc. that should epitomize a marriage. In writing the book, Ms. Zaman reframes her relationship with her father and they begin to have the conversations that have been years in the making, resulting in a better understanding of each other and a closeness that has long been absent. Which is not to say that Ms. Zaman has "perfect" relationships with her parents. My favorite part of the book is when Ms. Zaman starts working as a part-time reading aide at the school where her mother teaches. Ms. Zaman displays and witnesses love, kindness, acceptance and the powerful effect those actions and emotions can have on young lives. If the stories of Lyon and Jacob don't make you tear up and smile at the same time, you are heartless. I received a copy of the e-book via NetGalley.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dhrisya

    Came across this book accidentally when i was browsing through netgalley and having never tried out the genre of "Memoir", I decided to give it a chance. "I AM YOURS: A SHARED MEMOIR", the title of book might at first seems cheesy but when you finally start reading it will be revealed to you the greatest suspense in this title and you just keep on reading, growing with it. The book being not an ordinary memoir but a shared one for that matter holds collective memory of lot of people and is the sw Came across this book accidentally when i was browsing through netgalley and having never tried out the genre of "Memoir", I decided to give it a chance. "I AM YOURS: A SHARED MEMOIR", the title of book might at first seems cheesy but when you finally start reading it will be revealed to you the greatest suspense in this title and you just keep on reading, growing with it. The book being not an ordinary memoir but a shared one for that matter holds collective memory of lot of people and is the sweetest love letter that anyone can write for everyone who wants to experience abundance. The book is divided into four Acts just like a screenplay with each divided again keeping in mind the emotion of the author in each chapter. We connect with each character deeply and emotionally as if we are living with them whole of our life. Starting with ACT I Reema takes us three decade back in her life and begins at the beginning, seeing, speaking, standing, moving, serving, fighting till she reach at the age of 25. This is the phase she realizes her need for being the voice others. As the reader we grow along with Reema as years pass by and experience what she goes through with each years. In ACT II Reema takes us along chapters of love, merge, change, learn, accept and finally roar. This part of her life goes slow and changing with changing season at the end of which she says "I entered my first marriage a girl. I leave a woman". My favourite part being ACT III in which there is chapter called 'PAUSE' where is self-introspect through 17 to 29 and comes to a conclusion. Finally in ACT IV she rebirths and begins again her journey of loving evermore. Honest truth. A love letter for every soul. A book that will satisfy everyone. A book to be re read in every mood of life. ****** For Review copy from netgalley*******

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